Appeals Court Judges have on Friday, 3rd April 2020 overruled an application that was made by Lawyer Ady Macauley in respect of a particular Judge to be removed from a panel of three Judges that were assigned to look into an Elections Petition appeal filed by the All Peoples Congress (APC).
Reading the judgment on behalf of his colleagues, Justice Sengu Koroma said, counsel for the applicant had objected that Justice Ivan Sesay had contested on the ticket of Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) in Constituency 93, Rotifunk, Moyamba District, in the 2007 and 2012 parliamentary elections respectively.
Justice Koroma said the allegations made by the applicant must be accessed as the applicant should have given sufficient evidence to support his claims.
He said the applicant refused to tender membership card that would prove that the defendant is an active member of the SLPP.
It could be recalled that a preliminary objection was made by way of notice of motion at the maiden hearing of the appeal in February 2020, on the grounds that between 2007 and 2012, Justice Ansumana Ivan Sesay contested in constituency 86, now 93 Rotifunk in Moyamba District under the SLPP.
Lawyer Macauley submitted that he was not questioning the integrity of the Judge in question, but for the purpose of the law, with respect to emotion and ideology.
Lawyer Ade Macauley supported his submissions with a Civil Practice 2006, citing pages 72 and 85, which he said that perceive biasness.
In his reply, respondent’s lead counsel, Musa Meiwa said the ‘objected Judge’ was appointed by former President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to serve as High Court judge and not ‘SLPP Judge’, and was unanimously approved by parliament without questioning his political affiliation.
He added that there was no evidence that Justice Sesay had contested for any political position during his appointment as High Court judge.
The court ruled against the appellant on the grounds that there is no evidence before the court to prove otherwise and that such allegations must be supported with ‘sufficient and cogent’ evidence to prove biasness.
“The objection is a mere assertion which is not on law, and that there is no evidence in a form of party card that justice Ivan Sesay is still a member of the SLPP ” Justice Sengu said, adding that the decision of the court is not about Justice Ansumana Ivan Sesay but in the interest of the administration of justice.
The matter was adjourned to the 23rd April 2020 for hearing.